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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 19.12.2019

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presided over the second meeting of the National Committee for Commemoration of the 150th Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (December 19, 2019).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that it is a matter of happiness for all of us that during the last year and a half, the messages of the Mahatma have reached ordinary people all across the country and the world under the guidance of the National Committee.

The President said that Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has converted Gandhiji’s agenda of cleanliness into a people’s movement. Due to this wide spread popular participation, Gandhiji’s dream of a clean India is getting realized in a short span of less than five years. The success in the direction of making the country ‘Open Defecation Free’ is a great collective achievement. Over the past few months, there has been massive increase in awareness about the impact of single-use plastic on our environment. The enthusiasm of the youth about the various programmes related to Gandhi Jayanti reassures us that the Gandhian legacy is secure with our future generations.

The President said that if the humankind is going to succeed in meeting the critical contemporary challenges, it cannot be without this Gandhian attitude – towards other people, towards flora and fauna, and towards the earth. Today, there is global reverence for Gandhiji because the world is realizing that his vision of peace and equality, and his method of non-violence are more relevant today than in his times. Parts of the world are facing great strife, and the whole world is facing climate catastrophe. The scientific community has made grave predictions about the fate of the planet. Here again, Gandhiji can show us the way forward.

The President received first copies of an e-book on commemorative activities compiled by the Ministry of Culture; and an anthology on Gandhiji compiled by the Ministry of External Affairs from the Prime Minister who formally released them.

The National Committee was constituted for commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at the national and international level. This Committee includes Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers of all states, representatives from across the political spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers, and eminent persons from all walks of life. The Committee also has nine international members, including two former Secretaries-General of the United Nations - Mr Kofi Annan and Mr Ban Ki-Moon.

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